HTC One X changing hearts - review

2012-06-13 07:01
HTC is out to change local attitudes with its The HTC One X. (HTC)

HTC is out to change local attitudes with its The HTC One X. (HTC)

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Cape Town - HTC is on a mission to convince South Africans that its new range of devices are every bit as good, if not better than smartphones from rivals running the Android operating system.

The company has been advertising the One Range as its new flagship, intended to drive users away from the recently launched Samsung Galaxy SIII and the Razr offering from Motorola.

The One X is part of a larger screen category of Android smartphone sporting a 12cm high definition display with Corning Gorilla Glass that is rapidly becoming standard in the top-end premium range of devices.

The device feels well-weighted at 130g and the high speed 1.5GHz processor ensures that the using the smartphone is a smooth experience with no noticeable lag between apps or multiple screens.

It’s becoming increasingly hard for manufactures to differentiate themselves in the Android marketplace that has come to dominate smartphones globally and the HTC with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) achieves this with some unique features.

Beats

The home screens lock with an HTC "ring" that can be dragged to any app to unlock the device and run the application at the same time.

The home screen apps also do not change position unless a user customises them. This gives instant access to the camera, phone, messaging and app directory.

HTC recently acquired a stake in Beats Electronics and one can tolerate listen to music on the One X without earphones, and even with earphones, the sounds feels balanced, lacking the squeaking sound often associated with mobile phones.

The main camera is at the top of the pile at 8 megapixel and boasts an f/2.0 aperture. HTC has built in the capability to take picture while shooting video and the smartphone easily makes traditional point-and-shoot cameras redundant.

Daytime shooting is free of shutter lag and the phone has an effect button directly above the shutter, but the device can still be fooled in low-light conditions as it struggles to focus and ready the LED flash.

A neat feature on the smartphone is that it sports a multi-function app that shows a user the most recently used apps for quick access.

There are many other refinements the company has made to the software including the "stretch" at the end of a menu list.

Battery life

HTC has gone is a different direction in terms of how it handles content. There is no micro-SD slot, but 32GB of onboard memory.

HTC offers all users of the One Series 25GB of additional Dropbox online storage for two years.

Content can be directly copied to the device like a USB drive and it plays all the familiar video and audio formats.

Battery life in real world operation is acceptable at over two days with regular use and despite the size of the device, it never felt uncomfortable in trouser pockets.

It might be a bit big for some to use with one hand, but it's a worthwhile compromise for the display.

Clearly, the One X calls for an HTC revision of its "quietly brilliant" tagline to perhaps something louder to match this device and the fact that the company has opened a dedicated South African office is an indicator that the brand is intent on a bigger slice of the market share.

The HTC One X sells for around R7 300 online and is also available on contract from MTN at R349 per month.


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